The Irish Rose of Tralee regional finals were officially launched on Tuesday, April 26 in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel. Among those present at the launch were 2010 international Rose Winner Ms Clare Kambamettu and Ms Sinead Fennell who will represent Laois as the 2011 Rose.
Laois is to host the Irish Rose of Tralee regional finals again this year, with 51 Roses taking part in the event over the three selection nights at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on the June Bank Holiday Weekend. The Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend as well and, as with last year’s festival, the Roses will take part in the spectacular parade on Saturday, June 4.
Guest speakers on the night included Cllr Mary Sweeney who was representing Laois County Council; Peter Carey, county manager and chairperson of Laois Tourism, Oliver Hurley, general manager Rose of Tralee Festival; and Michael Bergin (chairperson Laois Partnership).
County manager, Peter Carey said that Laois was proud to host the prestigious festival again this year and that the organising committee, Laois County Council and the business community look forward to making the festival an even bigger success over the coming years.
He stated that the festival was extremely important to the county, and had major potential to attract large numbers of visitors to Laois. In these difficult economic times, festivals such as this would generate much needed revenue for hotels, b&bs, pubs and restaurants. He added that the hosting of the Irish regional finals of the Rose of Tralee puts the county on the map as a national centre for major festivals and events, and highlighs its strategic location in Ireland,
Oliver Hurley of the Kerry Rose Committee welcomed the fact that the Irish finals would be held in Portlaoise, following the very successful finals that was held in the county in 2010. Michael Bergin (chairperson Laois Partnership) said that he was delighted to be involved in supporting the event. 2010 international Rose winner Ms Clare Kambamettu said she was delighted to be asked to the official launch and wished the event every success.
Tourism officer, Dominic Reddin said he was delighted that the regional finals will be hosted here in Portlaoise for the third successive year. Mr Reddin acknowledged the work of the Board of Laois Tourism who currently have completed TV commercials promoting Laois as an event centre for festivals/events and as a tourist destination in the midland region. The commercials air on TV3 from Monday, April 25 to May 8.
The board have recently completed the redesigning of its website, www.laoistourism.com and Ms Clare Kambamettu and Ms Sinead Fennell officially launched the new site it on the evening. Eamon Donovan from Modus IT Ltd, who designed the site, thanked the board for giving him the opportunity to work on the site and wished them continued success.